Intergroup Dialogue: A Pedagogical Model for Integrating Cultural Competence within a Social Justice Framework

By Mayra Lopez Humphreys.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Institutional authorities within the social work discipline continue to support the concept of cultural competence as a response in addressing and informing the needs of diverse populations (CSWE, 2008; NASW, 2001). This study discusses intergroup dialogue, an innovative pedagogical model, in teaching cultural competence and social justice principles and practices. The results of a study that evaluated the impact on the cultural competency levels of 75 undergraduate BSW students enrolled in a Diversity and Oppression course at a college in the Northeastern United States are also presented in this study. Findings indicate that students experienced a statistically significant change in overall levels of cultural competence {measured by the Social Work Cultural Competencies Self-Assessment (SWCCSA) (Lum, 2003)} from the beginning to the end of the course. Further analysis also revealed that each domain of cultural competence (knowledge, skills, and awareness) were significantly higher in posttest measurement. The data suggests that through enhanced educational experiences with models of intergroup dialogue, which include content on cultural diversity and social justice, levels of cultural competence among social work students will improve.

Keywords: Intergroup Dialogue, Social Justice, Pedagogy, Cultural Competence

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.199-214. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 806.438KB).

Dr. Mayra Lopez Humphreys

Assistant Professor, Social Work, Nyack College, New York, New York, USA

Dr. Mayra Lopez-Humphreys is an assistant professor and field coordinator of the undergraduate social work department at Nyack College. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in diversity, social welfare policy and field practice. In the field of social work, her research interests include critical multicultural social work education and restorative practices. She has co-presented at the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) on the role of sex in perceptions of discrimination among Dominican immigrant women, and at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity (NCORE) she presented on the Relational-cultural model with culturally diverse student populations. Lopez-Humphreys’ has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed scholarly articles. She has 10+ years of practice/organizational leadership experience in both youth development and community organizing. Lopez-Humphreys’ has designed a number of asset-based programs that focus on the fostering and integration of participant’s social, spiritual and cultural capital. In 2002, she was presented with The Children’s Aid Society Excellence Award for her leadership in program innovations and partnerships with immigrant families. In the Harlem community, she is currently involved in the development and research of a Community Sustainable Kitchen (CSK).


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